Whether located in small towns, suburbia or big-city neighborhoods, community banks improve America’s community. They use local dollars to help families purchase homes, buy cars, finance college and build financial security. By driving local economies and creating local jobs, community banks are an integral part of our financial system and play a key role in our nation’s economic recovery.

Here are some other fun facts about community banks:

  • Community banks constitute 99.5 percent of all banks!
  • Of all U.S. banking organizations, 88.2 percent have assets under $1 billion and almost 50 percent have assets under $250 million.
  • There are more than 600 counties—almost one out of every five U.S. counties—that have no other physical banking offices except those operated by community banks.
  • There are more than 52,000 community bank locations nationwide.
  • Community banks employ 765,000 Americans and create countless jobs thanks to their role in lending to small businesses and agricultural enterprises.
  • Community banks hold more than $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.3 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community.
  • Community banks make nearly 50 percent of small business loans.
  • Community banks make 82 percent of agricultural loans.
  • More than 2,500 community banks have been in business for over 100 years.
  • The oldest community bank is in Rhode Island. It’s 215 years old, which means that it opened the same year that John Adams was elected president and Volta created the first modern battery!


1. Community banks' boards of directors are made up of local citizens who want to advance the interests of the towns and cities where they live and where their banks do business.

2. Most community bank loans benefit the neighborhoods where depositors live and work.

3. Research has shown average fees for checking accounts and other depository services are lower at community banks than at large, multi-state institutions.

4. Community banks offer a wide range of banking services and products designed to meet the needs of consumers and business including:
      - Anytime, anywhere electronic banking;
      - Automated teller machines, often with little or no surcharge fees;
      - Credit and debit cards with competitive rates and features;
      - Competitive mortgage- and consumer-loan products;
      - Competitive checking, saving and investment products and rates; and
      - Small business and agricultural lending. 


7 Attributes to Consider When Choosing a New Bank

If you're thinking about switching banks, understanding what makes a community bank different from a large and systemically risky bank is an imperative part of your decision. Take a look at the following attributes that differentiate community banks from the pack:

1. Focused, Personal Attention

Community bankers focus attention on the needs of local families, businesses and farmers. Conversely, many of the nation's large and systemically risky banks are structured to place a priority on serving large corporations.

2. Community Banks Promote Community Growth

Unlike many larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community banks channel most of their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work, helping to keep local communities vibrant and growing.

3. Accessible Neighbors

Community bankers are generally accessible to their customers on-site. CEOs at risky banks are often headquartered in office suites, away from daily customer dealings.   

4. Emotional & Physical Community Attachment

Community bankers are typically deeply involved in local community affairs, while large-bank officers are likely to be detached physically and emotionally from the communities where their branches are located.

5. Personal Qualification

Many community banks are willing to consider character, family history and discretionary spending in making loans. Megabanks, on the other hand, often apply impersonal qualification criteria, such as credit scoring, to all loan decisions without regard to individual circumstances.

6. Local Decision Making

Community bankers offer nimble decision-making on business loans because decisions are made locally. Megabanks must often convene loan-approval committees in another state.

7. Small Business Saavy

Because community banks are themselves small businesses, they understand the needs of small-business owners. Their core concern is lending to small businesses and farms. The core concern of the mega banks is corporate America.


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